Our IDP is an 18-month feeder program designed to provide entering graduate students with a core curriculum and laboratory training opportunities. Our IDP faculty includes researchers from the Departments of Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy, Microbiology & Immunology, and Pharmacology and Toxicology. IDP secondary faculty comes from the Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Pathology, and Surgery as well as the Blood Research Institute. Student can apply to IDP through the MCW Graduate School, and once enrolled are assigned an IDP Faculty Mentor who monitors the student's transition into graduate school, assesses their research interests, and advises the student on potential research rotations and other matters of concern. The IDP Faculty Mentor is associated with the student until a thesis laboratory is selected (around 18 months into the program). IDP students complete a common first year core curriculum and four nine-week research rotations in laboratories that are potential sites for dissertation research. A fifth, abbreviated rotation is possible for students if needed. After 18 months of financial support by the MCW Graduate School, the support is transferred to faculty grants or other sources.
The second pool of high-quality trainees derives from the MSTP. Upon completion of the first two years of medical school, these individuals select mentors from throughout the college and, if in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, complete a curriculum that is substantially similar to those who enter through the IDP.